JIS News

The Ministry of Water and Housing, through its Joint Venture Partnership programme, provided 2,221 housing solutions for needy Jamaicans last year.
Of the total, 1,554 houses were completed under the joint venture aspect of the programme, where the Ministry utilizes its own lands for construction and 667 under the private sector facilitation component, where privately-owned lands are used.
In making his contribution to the 2005/06 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on June 16, Water and Housing Minister, Donald Buchanan, informed that the Ministry was currently involved in 12 active projects comprising 2,769 solutions, of which five projects providing 1,311 solutions, would be completed this fiscal year.
Turning to mortgage provisions, he noted that the Jamaica Mortgage Bank, which was established to be a principal mortgage agency providing secondary mortgages in particular, has made significant contributions in the area of housing financing.
“During the last year, the Jamaica Mortgage Bank financed the construction of 2,891 housing solutions island wide at a cost of $540 million. It is projected that during this current financial year, the Bank will finance some 1,356 units at a cost of $1.094 billion,” he informed.
Mr. Buchanan also highlighted achievements under the Provision of Social Housing programme, which was conceptualised by Prime Minister P.J Patterson and implemented in March 2004. The programme involves two modalities, with an initial $1 million allocated per constituency per modality, but the allocation was subsequently increased by $500,000 each, bringing the total allocations for 2004/05 to $150 million.
Modality one involves the repair of units while modality two involves the provision of housing units in partnership with Food For the Poor. Minister Buchanan explained that the impact of last year’s Hurricane Ivan resulted in a change of focus and at the request of some Members of Parliament (MPs), approval was granted for the conversion of some funds from modality two to modality one. The Minister also informed that some MPs had utilized the facility to change allocations within the modalities. He noted that of the $77.2 million allocated to modality one, $64.6 million has already been paid out, with 9,286 families benefiting. Of the $42.8 million allocated under modality two, $31.1 million has been paid out with 741 families benefiting. “We have paid out $95.7 million generating a total of 10,027 beneficiaries,” Mr. Buchanan told the House.
It is anticipated that when the $150 million allocated for 2004/2005 is fully utilized, approximately 12,000 families would have benefited.

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